Sony Pictures Classics will release Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” on November 14, a full year after it was scheduled to open at the AFI Film Festival 2013. Michael Barker and Tom Bernard pulled the film from that festival; it’s now heading to screen in competition at Cannes. It’s a big deal to be anointed a full-fledged auteur your first time playing at Cannes, which tends to throw newcomers (“The Cruise,” “Capote” and “Moneyball” did not play the festival) into Un Certain Regard or the Quinzaine (Directors Fortnight).
The anticipated awards contender, backed by billionaire Larry Ellison scion Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, is co-financed by Sony. Miller worked with Sony motion picture chairman Amy Pascal on the Oscar-nominated “Moneyball.” E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Miller’s “Capote” adapted a true story long-in-development by Miller. John du Pont, a multimillionaire and paranoid schizophrenic, built a wrestling training facility named Foxcatcher on his personal estate in Pennsylvania. In 1996, Du Pont murdered a longtime friend and Olympic gold medal winning wrestler whom he was convinced was part of a conspiracy to kill him. Steve Carell plays Du Pont, in a return to the darker side (he played suicidal Proust scholar in “Little Miss Sunshine”), while an unrecognizable Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum play brother wrestlers. Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall co-star.
Annapurna has backed a number of class-act pictures and Oscar contenders (“The Master,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Her,” “American Hustle”). So far so good. Now Ellison is developing a TV series about Hollywood emigres Garbo and Dietrich and their lovers.